The Energy Networks Association (ENA) has unveiled a new, standardised approach to flexibility for distribution network operators (DNOs) as part of its Open Networks Project.
It has created a tool for all DNOs in Britain to ‘market test’ potential flexibility solutions, which will be released tomorrow. This uses a standard and transparent methodology, designed to fit operators around the country and help them choose solutions to solve congestion.
The Common Evaluation Methodology will help assess different potential options for tackling network constraints, ensuring DNOs evaluate flexible options as well as just traditional network reinforcement.
It has been developed in partnership with independent consultant Baringa Partners, and designed to create consistency across Britain.
Randolph Brazier, director of innovation and electricity systems at the ENA said the new tool marks “a big step forward” in allowing a common and transparent methodology to be used throughout the country.
Building local flexibility markets requires consumers to have the confidence to participate, he continued, thus having a standard process for the country means “those wishing to pitch-in and provide services to the networks know exactly what criteria will be used to assess their solution no matter the location".
“The UK’s energy networks have committed to a level playing field across the country, and our Common Evaluation Methodology is, arguably, the world’s first of its type and a significant step forward in building confidence in new local markets.”
The launch of the Common Evaluation Methodology follows the ENA updating its common contract for flexibility procurement at the beginning of March, with a similar aim of increasing transparency and unlocking liquidity in local flexibility markets.
ENA will run a workshop on the new methodology on Thursday 8 April, including a practical run through the tool.
Simon Brooke, the Common Evaluation Methodology project lead and ED2 DSO Business Plan lead at Electricity North West, said developing a common approach had allowed them to “bring together expertise from across the country, and through extensive input from the industry and potential users, to make sure everyone can realise the benefits".
“We’ve designed this tool to be enduring and under open governance arrangements at ENA, with all potential changes to be discussed at a new CEM User forum – to be created this summer - that includes stakeholders to reflect industry views in any decisions.”